Question: Biting Child: What Can Parents Do To Stop A Biting Child ?
A distressed mom recently appealed for help about what to do with a biting child. She said her provider has told her that it is becoming a big problem and the pre-school was considering removing her if it could not be managed. She wrote that she didn't know how to get her 2-year-old biting child to stop, and that he bit a girl last week on the arm and the parents were understandably very upset.
Answer: Let's face it; a biting child is simply not fun to be around. And while a young biting child may not be exhibiting abnormal behavior, it's still not acceptable to other kids and certainly to other parents. Having said that, a biting child is a common concern in pre-school, mom's day out programs and provider settings, especially in the toddler years. So, what can a parent do to discourage the bad behavior of a biting child?
- 1) Firmly say "No bite!" and remove the biting child offender from the situation.
2) Administer an appropriate consequence such as removal of the toy or a time-out for a biting child.
3) Lavish positive attention on the bitten toddler.
4) Use distraction between young kids and watch their interaction closely to avoid placing youngsters--especially one to be known to be a biting child--in a conflict situation.
5) Resist the temptation to bite a biting child back as a way to "show them" their wrongs. Use a positive approach instead. You don't want your toddler telling his teacher that he bites because that's what his parents do!